Well, here I am starting yet another YA series that the family has read and raved about and, take it from me, they're a fussy crowd! And yet another Aussie author - like Garth Nix whose Abhorsen series I read last year, Trudi Canavan also hails from The Antipodes. So, did I like the first in the series, The Magicians' Guild? Oh, yes. The family, as usual, were right.
The story concerns Sonea, a 'dwell' girl from the slums. She inadvertantly discovers she has magical capabilities when she zaps a magician during a slum purge. The race is on then. The magicians need to find her but Sonea thinks their intent is malicious and doesn't wish to be caught. How she avoids them makes for a pacey, rather exciting tale. The last quarter of the book slows down a bit but the story is no less interesting for that. Good stuff. I shall be reading the second book, The Novice very soon. This trilogy is complete and a second by her has two books to its name, the third comes out in the UK in July I believe. It's nice to discover a new author who is prolific and, more importantly, *good*.
One of the things that's close to my heart (and that I'm rather opinionated about I'm afraid) is children's reading. I was like it when my own daughters were learning to read and I'm no better now that they have their own kids. In fact, I think I'm even more opinionated about it now that I'm older. *g* Thus, I find it tragic to hear on the local news that only 36% of parents in the South West of England read to their children. When I related this to Son-in-Law his reply was, 'As many as that?' Because he knows, as I do, that Daughter number one goes into the grand-daughter's school to help with reading and she would put the number who have anything whatsoever to do with their children's reading at much less than that. Personally, I find it sad, sad, sad that people go to all the trouble of producing children and then can't be bothered to do this one thing that would benefit them enormously. At six, the grand-daughter is a book and reading fiend (having been read to since she was a few weeks old) and this is reflected across the board in her other school work. At 15 weeks the grandson sits on my or Daughter number two's lap and already has a favourite book (a pop-up book about 'Poppy' the cat). His little legs go two to the dozen and he gurgles contentedly at the pictures. What he gets out of it I have no idea but all the signs tell us he loves it. I just don't understand people. I know we all have busy lives but really, half an hour a day is not that much to invest in your children's future. Or am I living in some kind of cloud cuckoo land? /rant